Although Winneshiek Medical Center is the second largest critical access hospital in the state, it has the fifth lowest tax levy.

"Critical access" refers to a small facility that gives limited outpatient and inpatient hospital services to people in rural areas.

At this month's meeting of the Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees, WMC Chief Administrative Officer Gretchen Dahlen provided the Board with comparative data to follow up on a discussion from last month regarding the county tax subsidy.

Dahlen explained the median tax levy for a critical access hospital in Iowa is $1,045,562, while WMC currently receives only $435,712.

Dahlen explained that among county-owned, critical access hospitals in Iowa, WMC has the highest patient revenue, at $44 million.

Cass County Memorial Hospital, Atlantic, levies for $1,989,638 and has patient revenues of $30 million; Mahaska Health Partnership, Oskaloosa, has a levy of $1,915,433, with patient revenues of $33.7 million; Greater Regional Medical Center, Creston, levies $1,153,546 with patient revenues of $36.7 million; Boone County Hospital, Boone, has a levy of $1,039,731 with patient revenues of $38.1; Regional Medical Center, Manchester, receives $968,736 from the county and has patient revenues of $31.9 million and Storm Lake Medical Center levies $369,955 with patient revenues of $41.2 million.

20 years

Dahlen explained WMC has not had an increase in its tax levy in 20 years.

"Applying the cost of inflation, the (fiscal year) 1993 subsidy would be worth almost $700,000 in 2012 dollars," said Dahlen.

Dahlen said the Board may have to consider increasing the tax subsidy in order to continue providing the same level of services.

"We could be at that $2 million mark and not be out of line," said Dahlen.